Thursday, February 21, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 21,2008) - The European Union and Bosnia signed an agreement yesterday in the Bosnian capital sarajevo providing Bosnia with 440 million Euros (645 million US Dollars) aimed at helping reforms and bolstering the Bosnian economy.

"This is a very clear sign and demonstration of EU confidence and support," EU enlargement official Pierre Mirel told reporters after the signing ceremony.

Mirel, the head of the 27-nation bloc's enlargement department for the Western Balkans, signed the agreement with Bosnia'S Prime Minister Nikola Spiric.

Mirel said the new assistance instrument to countries that are potential candidates will assess each of them according to their needs and evolution, monitoring institution building, cross-border cooperation, regional development and other.

"The new assistance the European Union is providing is not in the form of credits but in the form of grants," he said.

The funds are for the 2007-2011 period and are meant to help implement reforms needed to meet EU standards and help Bosnia make progress in EU integration, said Mirel.

The grant comes under EU pre-accession funds available after Bosnia in December initialled its Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), seen as the first step towards full EU membership.

Bosnia was expected to start implementing the reforms and formally sign the SAA deal in the first half of 2008.

Key police reforms were a condition set by the European Union before the membership process could begin.

In order to complete the signing, Bosnia must implement them and show progress in reforming public media and cooperation with The Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal.

However, the leaders of Bosnia's ruling political parties are yet to agree on laws defining the police reforms.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 21,2008) – "Demands made by some irresponsible individuals who have been trying to artificially connect Bosnia and Kosovo will be refused decisively. BiH is not an open issue and political heads are expected to talk and act the way which supports the Bosnian Constitution and the Dayton peace Agreement," the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) Spokesperson Mario Brkic stated at a press conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

”Bosnia is an internationally recognized state with territorial integrity guaranteed by the Dayton Agreement. Constitution of this country stated that it is made up of two entities and that Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats are constitutive peoples”, Brkic reminded.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 21,2008) – The Bosnian Presidency did not achieve consensus on the proposition to ratify the agreement on dual citizenship between Bosnia and Croatia.

Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajzic was against this decision since he believes that the problem of dual citizenship should not be solved this way and that a complete solution has to be found which would satisfy all Bosnian citizens and put then in equal position.

”The case is by ratifying this agreement with Croatia, the Bosnian citizens with Croatian citizenship would be in privileged position”, stated Silajdzic at the press conference after the Bosnian Presidency session.

He pointed out that there is no democratic country in the world which takes away its citizenship if its citizens gain citizenship of some other country” and that “Bosnia is the only country in the world which conditions dual citizenship with bilateral agreement”.

He appealed to those in parliament who for the fifth time refused to cancel Article 17 of the Law on citizenship to reconsider their decision, since by doing this we put all our citizens in equal position and to resolve this matter with the countries which expect us to conclude it by canceling Article 17”.

Considering there was no consensus, Silajdzic announced that he will take the decision to the Bosnian Parliament's House of Peoples and claim the protection of vital national interest”.

Also,the Bosnian Presidency did not reach a consensus on sending the request to the UN Security Council regarding the measures on implementation of the verdict by International Court of Justice from February 2007.

Bosnian Presidency members Haris Silajdzic and Zeljko Komsic voted for while Nebojsa Radmanovic was against this decision.

The Bosnian Presidency adopted the information on realization of NATO Trust Fund activities and adopted a decision on opening proceeding for talks over the conclusion of Agreement between Bosnia and Slovakia on improvement and protection of investments and decision on the agreement between Bosnia and Hungary on social security and insurance.

The Bosnian Presidency also adopted a decision on changes and amendments of the decision on rationalization of diplomatic and consular offices of Bosnia abroad.

According to this decision, the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall within 90 days from this decision finalize all affairs on closing one consulate of Bosnia in Bonn, Germany and all activities around opening of the new consulate in Frankfurt until December 31.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 21,2008) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic stated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo at the Presidency session that the members of the Bosnian Presidency discussed the “disappearance” of the original copy of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

It has been stated that translation of the document cannot be made because of the fact that it is missing.

”I will propose that, unless the original document is found, of course to get an original copy from Paris. However, we have not made that decision yet and will consult on the issue further”, Silajdzic stated at a press conference after the session of the Bosnian Presidency.

The Bosnian Presidency also decided that the item of the agenda related to the transfer of the ICTY archives to Bosnia will be discussed at the next session.

Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajdzic stated that there is a proposal that has been accepted in the consultations by the President of the Bosnian Presidency Zeljko Komsic and himself.

”That proposal is that the ICTY archives are moved to Sarajevo and that the conditions for its maintenance and use are ensured”, Silajdzic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 21,2008) – Dissatisfied with the relations of authorities towards the (non) implementation of the reforms obligations, the Work for Progress People’s Party organized peaceful protests yesterday in Sarajevo.

Several dozens of members and supporters of the party shouted “We want the EU future for Bosnia!”, “We want a democratic constitution!”, “We want the police reform implementation!”, “We have had enough of empty talk!”…

”There is no alternative to the EU future for Bosnia”, the Party’s Secretary General Marko Vujevic and Alma Cardzic, the party’s delegate stated.

They called the representatives of the “ruling six” to act in accordance with the pre-electoral promises and unblock the European integration of Bosnia.

Officials of the Party warned that the Bosnian citizens need the EU standards, a democratic constitution, a multiethnic, independent, professional and efficient police.

The party is against outvoting and urges the authorities responsible to resign if they are not able to find adequate solutions in accordance with the deadlines.

At the same time, this party has called the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia to take certain steps in accordance with his authorities for “nobody has the right of blocking Bosnia's European integration”.


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (February 21,2008) - Five former leaders of the fascist Croatian creature in Bosnia "the HB", who are currently on trial in The Hague, have been granted release from custody.

Croatian war criminals Jadranko Prilic, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoje Petkovic and Valentin Ćoric will be on provisional release from today,Thursday February 21, until May 4.

All five Croatian war criminals were indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for crimes committed against the Bosnian civilians,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in 1992 and 1993 on the territory of Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Jablanica, Mostar, Ljubuski, Capljina and Vares.

The five are being allowed to wait for the beginning of the Defence process at liberty. Still, by this decision, they will have to appear at the ICTY on March 17 and 26, and April 21 during pre-Defence conferences.

The ICTY has also ruled that all five must stay in Croatia, where the government has agreed to provide necessary security measures and ensure the indictees' return to The Hague.

The trial started on April 26, 2006, with the Prosecution case closing on February 6, 2008. The Defence's case is set to start on May 5, 2008.